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vt.Buzz ~ a political blog

Political notes from Free Press staff writers Terri Hallenbeck, Sam Hemingway and Nancy Remsen



How much for a gallon of milk?

I went to pour milk into my coffee yesterday and the price tag on the top of the jug says, "$2.79." My husband has been buying the milk the last few times so I kind of lost track of how much we were paying. Last I knew it was $3.25

The subject of milk prices came up last week when some senators said they were working on a bill to put a cap on how much stores could charge. Sen. Bobby Starr, D-Essex/Orleans, said they were charging $4.69 at Shaw's in Derby.

So I figured if the price we were paying at our local convenience store had dropped from $3.25 to $2.79, perhaps the price had dropped everywhere and that would take the oomph out of the legislation.

Well, it sorta has and sorta hasn't. At Shaw's in Montpelier today, they are charging $3.69 for Shaw's brand and $4.69 for Booth Bros. At the Capital Deli convenience store, it's $3.29 for Booth Bros.

I don't think many of us quite understand why supermarkets are charging so much more than convenience stores for milk, unless they have done surveys to show people will buy their milk wherever they buy the rest of their groceries. At my house, we are not fiscal geniuses, but we figured out a while back that milk is cheaper at the convenience store and it's not all that inconvenient to stop there.

I've also figured out that two supermarket chains that have stores across the road from each other charge vastly different prices for cheese. I no longer buy my cheese at the one that insists on selling it for lots more.

Perhaps in areas of the state where there is only the one store and no competitor across the road, that's more of a problem.

What remains to be seen is if the Senate leaders can sell their colleagues and the governor on the idea of legislating the price of a gallon of milk.

- Terri Hallenbeck

If we cap what the retailer can sell milk for and don't regulate anyone else in the supply chain the stores just won't sell milk and we can set up a new industry in VT- blackmarket milk!
Do we also cap the trucking rates for the milk haulers?
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